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There has been a groundswell of interest in the UK in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and its derivatives, particularly Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Many health, education and social work practitioners have sought ways to develop their competencies as mindfulness-based teachers, and increasing numbers of organisations are developing mindfulness-based training programmes. However, the rapid expansion of interest in mindfulness-based approaches has meant that those people offering training for MBSR and MBCT teachers have had to consider some quite fundamental questions about training processes, standards and competence. They also need to consider how to develop a robust professional context for the next generation of mindfulness-based teachers. The ways in which competencies are addressed in the secular mainstream contexts in which MBSR and MBCT are taught are examined to enable a consideration of the particularities of mindfulness-based teaching competence. A framework suggesting how competencies develop in trainees is presented. The current status of methodologies for assessing competencies used in mindfulness-based training and research programmes is reviewed. We argue that the time is ripe to continue to develop these dialogues across the international community of mindfulness-based trainers and teachers.
Objective: We compared mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) with both cognitive psychological education (CPE) and treatment as usual (TAU) in preventing relapse to major depressive disorder (MDD) in people currently in remission following at least 3 previous episodes. Method: A randomized controlled trial in which 274 participants were allocated in the ratio 2:2:1 to MBCT plus TAU, CPE plus TAU, and TAU alone, and data were analyzed for the 255 (93%; MBCT = 99, CPE = 103, TAU = 53) retained to follow-up. MBCT was delivered in accordance with its published manual, modified to address suicidal cognitions; CPE was modeled on MBCT, but without training in meditation. Both treatments were delivered through 8 weekly classes. Results: Allocated treatment had no significant effect on risk of relapse to MDD over 12 months follow-up, hazard ratio for MBCT vs. CPE = 0.88, 95% CI [0.58, 1.35]; for MBCT vs. TAU = 0.69, 95% CI [0.42, 1.12]. However, severity of childhood trauma affected relapse, hazard ratio for increase of 1 standard deviation = 1.26 (95% CI [1.05, 1.50]), and significantly interacted with allocated treatment. Among participants above median severity, the hazard ratio was 0.61, 95% CI [0.34, 1.09], for MBCT vs. CPE, and 0.43, 95% CI [0.22, 0.87], for MBCT vs. TAU. For those below median severity, there were no such differences between treatment groups. Conclusion: MBCT provided significant protection against relapse for participants with increased vulnerability due to history of childhood trauma, but showed no significant advantage in comparison to an active control treatment and usual care over the whole group of patients with recurrent depression.